Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Lovely "Martha Stewart" bluegreen colored paper. Actually, these papers come from a bottle of gum sold in Japan. hehehe The gum makers include a pad of papers in each bottle for when you want to dispose of your gum. Omoshiroi. Interesting. Mark never uses the paper to throw out his gum, so we've got these little tiny pads of paper floating around the house.
Poor Evan looks wasted. He actually wasn't feeling well when I asked him to pick a name from the bowl. He's a trooper.
Congratulations, Kaneyuki's! Its your lucky day! I'm sending a package of Japanese candies and snacks your way.
Thank you to all of you out there for keeping up with my little personal challenge and commenting or just lurking. Its been fun reading every one's comments!
I think the most interesting part of my daily bloggings has been finding out who's reading my ramblings. I guess in my mind I still think that its just some friends and family reading, but it really is bigger than that. I'm in touch with lots of old and new friends and friends I've never met in real life.
Its a nice reminder that the Internet isn't just a virtual space of zeros and ones, but that there's real people on the other side who, like me, appreciate being heard. So thanks for reading. Thanks for making me feel like I matter. :)
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Just thought I'd share one of our newer Christmas traditions that I found out more about online today. This was introduced to us by our friends Julie and Dave back when we were both young newlywed couples and would spend a lot of time playing, eating, FHEing together. They were like family.
I noticed that they had a pickle ornament in their Christmas tree. I had seen it in Target too, and wondered why on earth would you love pickles enough to put it in your tree. Julie explained that it was an old tradition in Germany, where it was the last ornament hung, hidden in the branches. On Christmas morning, the first child that finds it gets an extra gift and blessings for the new year.
I thought it was a cute idea to add more fun to Christmas morning, so I bought one at a Target after Christmas sale. And maybe this year we can introduce the game to Evan, even though Careese isn't going to be much competition. :)
Today, I did a little google search to find out more about this said German tradition. As it turns out it isn't German at all. Germans don't have any idea what this pickle ornament is about. hmm interesting. Its completely American. And Wikipedia says that it's a popular American tradition. It is?! How did this tradition slip past me all those years?
Well, anyway, what traditions do you have in your family during this holiday season?
Monday, December 08, 2008
I love this dress I picked up for Careese at the Silk Market in Beijing. SO CUTE!!! She looks like a doll! I'm glad I didn't let that vendor trick me out of this one for another not so cute dress during the haggling fest. I got matching shoes out of the deal too, but those don't quiet fit Careese yet.
Careese's way of saying "Cheese!"
Careese and Da Da
Careese and great-grandma
|Daddy Daughter Weekend in Taipei|
What did I do today? While Mark and Careese were flying back and Evan was at school, I was actually at a loss of what to do with myself. I didn't know what to do with SO much freedom. Too many options! If I knew about this sooner, I could have signed up for a massage session at the gym on base! Its ok, I did something just as therapeutic... shopping! Not just any shopping. Fabric shopping. I'm picking up some fabric for a friend that loves cute Japanese prints on fabric. I do too, so it was a treat for me to shop for her. Here's one I picked up for her, that I think I may have to go back and get some for myself!
I also did some online Christmas shopping, wrapped a few more presents, tidy the house, did some laundry and some dishes, took a nice loooong shower (alone!), and baked bread. Yeah, I'm amazed myself at my list of stuff I got done, including shopping (walked to the store too), all before 2pm. woo hoo!
In retrospect a day later: I just read over this post again, and looked at my list of things I accomplished before 2pm yesterday... and in retrospect, it's not that great of a list! ahahaha Its what mom's do on a daily basis with little thought on receiving thanks or making complaints. its the non glamorous side of mommyhood. I'm asked my mom, how she managed to cook pretty much everyday for the last 20+ years?! I was just a newlywed a the time and couldn't fathom doing that chore for 20+ years! She said you just do it because you have to, your family needs to eat, and you learn to love it. I'm coming up on 6yrs of marriage, and I really understand it now. It applies to all matters of work in general. No matter what work you do, you learn to love and appreciate it. I want to teach my children that, to like to work. To understand work is an integral part of attaining happiness on earth. Whether its doing the dishes or yard work or homework or your 9-5 job.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
Careese was so cute! She immediately perked up and smiled and waved at us when she saw us through the window. I can't get enough of her smiles. She makes us melt. Evan laughed and made faces at her and she laughed. They are so funny together. I'm just in awe over how they have their own special bond to each other. I hope they grow up to be sweet to each other.
Evan understands that when people get on that bus they go to the airport and they are gone for a while. I think Evan didn't completely realize that Careese was leaving with daddy, even though we told him she was going.
As the bus was pulling away, Evan said, "that's my sister!" over and over. And he was actually a little teary eyed after the bus was out of view. Awww so cute! I talked to him on the way home that they would be home soon, and about the things we could do while they were gone, and he perked up.
I didn't think Evan would really miss Careese. At bedtime, he talked to me about the silly, funny things Careese does and he laughed. I've noticed more emotion from Evan lately. He actually gets his feelings hurt now. Like the other day, Mark and I were upset that he helped himself to chocolate dipped cookies without asking first, and we reminded him that it wasn't nice to take without asking first. Then I noticed that he was quiet, and had tears welling up in his eyes, and then a sniffle, and then quivering lip, and he was genuinely sad that he made a mistake. Usually things like this don't bother him, he'll say sorry and go on eating his cookie like nothing happened. So it's interesting to see this new side of him that's developing.
I talked to Mark, and he said Careese has been good. She's was overtired by the time the delayed flight allowed them to board, and she cried a bit on the plane. But Mark said a lot of the people on board were helpful. Thats good. I think it would have annoyed me after a while of people saying, "maybe she's hungry?" or "is she tired?" Mark's got more patience than me in that respect.
So, it sounds like Careese is doing well under Mark's complete supervision. I feel a little better that the flight went well. Its hard, as a mom, to let go of worrying about your kids. Not that I don't trust Mark, I'd still worry even if it were SuperNanny.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Speaking of clips, Careese has decided she will not wear them anymore. She will take them out as soon as I'm not looking. Isn't that ironic?! I made a little business of selling clips because of her, and now she won't wear them. Yep. The other day she was wearing her Christmas clips, and next thing I knew they were gone. I had no idea where they went, but I'm not worried because I know they will show up somewhere in the house. Later that evening, Mark told me he found her clips. Where were they? He was changing her diaper and found them in the diaper!! Ouch! Don't worry it wasn't a poopy diaper, but I still made sure to wash them off.
Speaking of Careese, she's surprisingly been really good around the christmas tree! I put only the plastic ornaments on the bottom of the tree just in case, but Careese has actually stayed away from them. Mark said she took one down when he was watching her, and she shook her head and said "ooooooooo" and tried to put it back. hahaha She's learning so much so fast. She's already able to follow very simple commands like, "come here for a diaper change" and she will lay down the mat. I can ask her to hand me things I point to, and she'll do it. And she's learned more sign language. She came up with her own way to sign "tired/sleepy" by taking her right hand and rubbing her cheek and eye. She can sign the command to make Lucy bark. Lucy doesn't follow the command, but its cute to see Careese try.
I forget how much little 1 yr olds can understand and know how to do. I'm so happy to have little Careese in our home to remind me.
Why am I writing so much about Careese today? Well, because Mark made the last minute decision to go to Taiwan this weekend to attend a family friend's wedding. In a passing comment we said, why don't you take one of the kids with you. The more we thought about it, the more it sounded like a good idea for Careese to go with Mark to Taiwan. Mark's grandma hasn't met Careese yet, it would give me a break for the weekend, and it would give Mark time with Careese and me with Evan.
I'm looking forward to time with Evan, but I'm really going to miss Careese. I'm the one that puts her to bed everynight. I'm going to miss that. I don't think I've ever been without her for more than a few hours. But I think it will be good for Mark to spend time with her. I hope it goes well!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
We had a parent teacher conference with Evan's teacher today too. We found out that Evan's sensei had no idea that Evan was picking up any Japanese, because it turns out that he doesn't say much in school. If she speaks English to him, he'll go off speaking English back to her. But she doesn't understand much English, let alone a 3 yr old Evan's version of English. Seems like he gets into disagreements with the other kids, because he doesn't understand what they're saying. They actually try to help him putting on his coat or backpack, but he doesn't understand and gets upset at them. So, I'm going to have to help him understand what's going on in school until he learns more Japanese. But I'm glad to hear that he's got lots of friends in school that like to play with him and help him out!
I got our Christmas tree up finally. I usually get it up the day after Thanksgiving. I think I wasn't as motivated because we could only ship part of all the Christmas stuff we had to Japan. Long story short, we had to cut our shipment limit from half our stuff, to half of that. We had to make last minute decisions on what we absolutely had to bring with us to Japan. And our Christmas stuff took a hit. So we have a tree at least and some decorations for the tree and our stockings and a couple wreaths. And that's pretty much it. Since it was such a rush decision I didn't remember what we did and didn't bring with us and I'm finding out now, and it makes me a little sad that some of our fav and special ornaments got stored. Well, its the spirit behind Christmas that counts, right?
I'm beat. Putting the tree up myself and trying to keep the kids from tearing it down at the same time wore me out.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
I was so happy it turned out great and it challenged everyone at different skill levels.
The only problem is, I don't really learn much Japanese. I guess I have gotten better at my listening skills, but as far as speaking I'm not even close to how much English they know. I'm taking classes on base once a week and its helped refresh my memory of the 3 yrs of high school Japanese I took. But without daily classes, I've got little chance of learning Japanese any time soon.
Good thing Evan's in Japanese kindergarten and he will be able to translate for me!
BTW, I've tried using Rosetta Stone to learn Japanese, and I highly recommend it for learning any language. It teaches you to recognize the writing/pronunciation/speaking without making you associate it with the English meaning. It basically throws you into the language and lets you to learn from your mistakes. Its pricey though, but if you ever get the chance to use it, its worth it.
Monday, December 01, 2008
A few people have asked me how I manage to squeeze in time to blog everyday. I've come up with my own strategy to keeping myself on task when I'm online. Cause trust me if I didn't have anything else to do, I'd be shopping online and reading blogs and watching my slingbox all day long! My laptop, when it is fully charged, only gives me about 2 hours of battery life. Pretty sad. Mark's mini EEE PC, gives him 8 hours, very nice but not useful in my strategy. When I want to be really productive online, I unplug my "lappy" and take it to another room far enough away from my charger that I'd be too lazy to go get it. :) This way I am forced to use the 2 hours to get everything I need to do before the battery runs out of juice!
Being that December is upon us, I've listed some new Holiday hairclips on my etsy site. Can't say Christmas hairclips, because that wouldn't be PC. hehehe jk. The double H just sounds better to me. Anyway, I've got a couple listed as U Pick type listings where you get to pick the styles you want in your set. Perfect for a gift that's customized just for that special little girl. And I will package all my clips ready for gift giving! All you have to do is specify which ones you would like in the notes section as you check out.
I love these clips cause they're simple enough for everyday wear, but they still can dress up an outfit too. I also have a new bow type clip that I made while I was experimenting with how to hide an alligator clip inside the bow so it would keep a low profile and not get too bulky and heavy by using less ribbon. I think I got it! It's made from beautiful satin ribbon from the Martha Stewart craft line. So I love how it looks and feels. Tre chic!
On the home front, Mark got home this evening from a looooong flight from Sydney. Yeay! That means its present time! Mark likes to buy food and candy when he's out of town, and I like that it doesn't add clutter to the house. Evan actually expects Mark to bring stuff home now, so on occasion he's said , "What's my surprise, Daddy?!" Today was different. He knew his daddy was coming home, so while I was organizing his room, he found some of his toys and things that looked like boxes. He then went through his toy chest to find little things that he liked, like his toy money, a plastic mardi gras necklace, his train, and a few other trinkets. Then he carefully packaged them in each of the four "boxes". He told me that they were presents for Daddy. How sweet! When Mark came home, he was so excited to give them to Mark and watch him open them too. After Mark opened them all, Evan and Careese proceeded to play with it and there was stuff all over the floor. After I while I asked Evan if he could clean it up and bring the stuff back to his room. Evan said, "No! Its not mine, its daddy's stuff!" Great, how am I going to get Mark to clean that mess up?!
Mark did come home with Tim Tams and other treats too. But he had another little surprise for me. I don't think I ever told him I wanted something opal, I know I wanted one because its Careese's birthstone, and Mark got me an opal pendent! I forgot Australia is known for opal. Mark said he's just that good at reading my mind. OK.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Evan Youchen Music Concert from beverly on Vimeo.
There was also a couple songs that his class sang. I say "his class" because he really just stood there the whole time with a blank stare. Poor kid, I don't think he realized that there'd be SO many people in the audience. It's ok. I don't think he knows all the words to the songs they sang anyway. I wish I had some better pictures and video, but the place was packed, and I bearly squeezed in there to get a video of the last tambourine number while wrestling Careese with my other arm.
Don't you just LOVE their uniforms? jk. It doesn't usually include that big sissy bow. That's just for performance time. But really, I don't mind the uniform on girls cause its cute on them, just not for boys. As they get taller the shorts seem to get shorter and shorter. The coat length seems to do that too. And I don't get why have to wear shorts year round, even in the dead of winter? They explain, that kids body temperature is higher than adults, and that to avoid illness, its best to not dress them too warmly to get their bodies used to the cold. I don't agree. You can get sick in the summer time just as easily as the winter. And getting accustomed to cold is not related to building immunity.
After finding out this is the school's thoughts on kids health, it explains why they sent Evan home for having a fever, when he really didn't have one. He was exactly at 98 degrees, normal. He was just warm from wearing the sweater-vest I put on him. They must expect kids to be at 90 degrees or something.
Anyway, today we went to our friend's home, on base, who invited us for a belated Thanksgiving dinner. They wanted to invite a couple over for dinner that only have Sundays off. That's fine by me, cause that's my third Thanksgiving dinner in a week! ahahaha. I'm a turkey, stuffed. They asked me if I wanted to take some leftovers home, since Mark is out of town. Yeah right! I've cooked two other turkeys this week, and have had turkey left overs in almost every meal since last Sunday! Thanks, but no thanks. The funny thing was two out of the three families there were at my house for Thanksgiving dinners this past week! Not at the same time, so they have no idea that we've all had turkey dinner at least twice this week. hehehe.
The kids had great time playing, but somewhere in the fun, Careese started crying in pain. I found her standing in middle of the room where the kids were playing. Her poor little #4 baby tooth that had just started poking out was bleeding. Not a lot of blood. It stopped quickly, but Careese would cry in pain hours later when I tried to wash her face before going to bed. My friend said that when he found her, she was standing and holding a toy in her hand. I'm guessing she had that toy in her mouth and someone bumped into her and it cut her gum right behind that new tooth. Poor baby. She was frustrated trying to suck on a bottle after that. I hope she's ok, and it doesn't get infected, or something extreme like her tooth falls out and she'll have a missing tooth till she's 6!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I don't mind a mess in my home, as long as it's a crafty mess.
Well, its Christmas card season again, and honestly I've been thinking about it since I sent out my last card for 2007! I loved how well last years turned out, but now that I had set the bar pretty high, what would I do this year to match it?!
On my last trip to Seattle, I pretty much went on a shopping binge at Michael's. Evan's been playing with fun foam stickers since the wee age of 1 and a half. hehehe So, when I found these cute penguin stickers, these craft wheels could not be stopped from spinning.
Child labor put to work for the sake of Christmas cards. Tip: You gotta start early if you intend on your kid being involved in making at least 50 of these to be mailed out in time for Christmas. Child labor isn't the most efficient.
And here's a sneak peek at our fun foam Christmas cards. This is one of my favs that Evan and I made together. The blank stare in the right penguin makes me smile.
Now, I'm a bit stuck because finding A6 sized (5 3/4 x 4 3/8 inch) envelopes in Japan isn't easy. And the military exchange has little selection when it comes to office supplies. Japan has a whole different standard for paper and envelope sizes. I might have to get creative here.
Here's something I learned about letter writing in Japan. You won't find any envelopes with gum to seal them shut. Nope, its offensive to lick an envelope! I never thought of it that way, but I guess I wouldn't want someones spit all over my birthday card. So, all those peppermint flavored gummed envelopes from Hallmark, are just plane rude.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Here they are, get'em while they're hot!
It was a good trip, despite the below freezing weather. The one thing I learned is that, I don't quite relate with the mainland Chinese, more specifically Beijing Chinese. Or their way of thinking. But I think by the end of our trip, I understood where they were coming from, even if I didn't agree.
My cousin Faye pointed out to me that people are still influenced by their communist history. For instance, there is little importance placed on aesthetics or flourishes in design/architecture because during the Cultural Revolution they pulled up grasses and trees because it was an unnecessary aesthetic. Things like that, that I didn't think about that make the Chinese the way they are.
I don't speak Mandarin. Very very little, that a foreigner with a phase book probably has an advantage over me. hehehe But I can understand it a little better. Oh, but the different Chinese accents was tough to get used to.
So for me to speak a language is so integral in understanding the culture. And not being able to speak Chinese, even though I looked the part, was hard. I just felt like people were wondering what was wrong with me when they spoke to me? I guess it helped that I had two kids and was dressed differently that people could tell I was a foreigner. A lot of people thought I was from Singapore. Which isn't too far off from the truth. My father is from Singapore, and I lived there for a while as a kid.
So, it was a good trip for me because I was there observing real Chinese culture, cause I don't consider myself really Chinese, I got to understand a little more about myself. I hope we'll be able to make it an annual trip to China, now that we're just a stones throw away, and we can stay at the same Westin hotel too!
P.S. Just a reminder that I'm taking on the challenge of blogging once a day for a month, and honestly its not an easy thing for me to do. So to thank my faithful readers keeping up with me on my 'quest' of a blog a day, I'm keeping tabs on who comments and how many times too, so at the end of the month (Dec 11) I will have a drawing to give away a package of Japanese treats and goodies to one lucky reader. All you have to do is comment on any post between Nov 11 - Dec 11. That's it! Good luck!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
In light of the American Thanksgiving coming up, we celebrated a little earlier with some of our Japanese friends from church. They were really just wanting to schedule a home teaching visit, but we turned it into a Thanksgiving feast. hehehe
I forget how different Americans live compared to the Japanese, because when my friend came in to help out in the kitchen, as I was putting in a tray of croissants to be baked, she was astonished at how huge my oven was. Then she noticed how big the stove was in general. She turned around and the fridge, in its American huge-ness, had her at "SUGOII!" Then, as we were cleaning up after dinner, she noticed the dishwasher, and asked if she could look inside. I'm glad Mark did the dishes! She was blown away that there was not just one row of racks but two, and you had to stoop down to see the dishes all the way in the back. She called her husband in to look see and they admired how much cabinets and counter space there was. Honestly, I was amazed myself, when we first moved in, at the amount of cabinet and counter space we had!
While this whole event made me smile, apart of me feels guilty for living so well in Japan. And we pay almost nothing to live here too. While the rest of the country is making due with the small living space they have, we have the gall to complain about all the leaves we have to rake up on the 75 ft of lawn that we're in charge of around our house. I don't blame the Japanese for complaining about the American bases taking up their land. Thats why I feel like I need to play host to our Japanese friends often that they get to share in our abundance. Granted our home is still small compared to American standards, it's by far less cramped than most Japanese homes.
As for dinner, it was worth the hours of prep time. It was delicious. I don't think Thanksgiving is truely Thanksgiving without company to share it with. And to share it with company that rarely eats a traditional thanksgiving meal, made it even better. We got a smoked turkey this year, and it was SO good! Is like eating kaula pig, but turkey. And it only takes 1.5 hours to warm up, so it freed up my oven for other baked goodies like sweet potato souffle and fresh baked croissants. I'm thinking of heading out to the commissary tomorrow to pick up another yummy smoked turkey to just keep in my freezer for another day. hehehe
The pumkin pie I made turned out good. Although, can someone tell me why the pie cracks down the middle? Is it because it cools too quickly?
Saturday, November 22, 2008
As soon as we got home there was little time to relax, we had invited some friends from our Japanese Ward over for dinner the next day. So we had to go shopping for food before the commissary closed. We decided that since it was Japan's Labor Thanksgiving day tomorrow, and American Thanksgiving this Thrusday, we should have Thanksgiving dinner. Although, I don't know if there are special foods for Japanese Thanksgiving. After the kids went to bed, I made pumkin pie. Those are one of those foods that just remind you of home. The warm aroma of pumkin spices and homemade crust filling our house, reminds me of Thanksgivings and Christmases with extended family where we'd consume 6-8 pies. I can't wait to dig into that pie!
Evan was eatting at the table today, and while he was eating was telling us about being in my cousin Faye's class. He said that there was a boy in his class that looked like this, and Evan pulled the outside corners of his eyes up! I don't know if he's imitating how the other kid looks of if they were making funny faces at each other, but it was funny to see Evan explain how someone looks like that. He also was telling ing me about how he "do lots of things in Faye's class" and "Faye do other things" and "a kid pushed me, Faye help me be happy. Its not nice to push" Then we asked Evan if Faye was his hero, and he said "um, maybe. maybe not"
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
After moving hotels, we went to Summer Palace Park. It was nice and just a little windy, but much less bitterly cold. Too bad we didn't have too much time there.
Beijing Olympic Park. Hard to imagine that the Summer Olympics were just 3 months ago because it's so cold now! The place in huge. I need a foot rub. The kids were troopers for hanging in there for us to go see it.
I will post more about today later. now, sleepy time.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Elder Oaks is a great speaker, and his talk touched on how we can know for ourselves, with commitment to God in our prayers, if the gospel was true. And it was also nice that he touched on how we should handle the current predicaments that the downturn of the economy has placed the global family in. Even though, it was tough listening to him speak while making sure the kids were happy and not making people around us unhappy, it was refreshing to hear. Makes me want to go back and read conference talks again. I was so excited to shake the hand of an Apostle for the first time!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
We went to Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City today. It was just as big and grand as I imagined it would be. I guess I've seen too many movies about the Forbidden City that it didn't really surprise me. Although, the living quarters of the city were a little less grand as I imagined it would be. Most likely because of how movies played it up.
However, it was so amazing to be there and realize that this is where history was made. In Tienanmen Square, I just kept thinking about how as an 8 yr old watching the news about the protests, and seeing it's effects on the people in Hong Kong, where I as living at the time, was so profound to me that I am standing right where it all happened. In the Forbidden City, it was so amazing to think about how China has changed so much in the last few hundred years, and this huge structure has been here for it all.
It is freezing here in Beijing. It gets below freezing at night. So, being in Tienanmen and Forbidden City with two kids, was tough. We just kept going from semi-heated room to semi-heated room to keep the kids warm. We were ok because we were doing all the walking. Poor kids. Glad I over dressed them.
Surprisingly the subway and the Forbidden City is very non-stroller friendly. I thought after the Olympics especially that there would be enough ramps to get around with, but nope. There are lots of stairs in the subway and a lot of levels in the Forbidden City.
We got a lot of attention with our kids and stroller. Some good, some bad. We think it must be an odd sight in a country that has pushed the one child policy to see two kids. People would keep asking us if they were twins. "Ummm yes, Evan was just born 2 years earlier". And also we have a sit and stand type stroller and that's not common to see. And its orange so you don't miss it. SO, to say the least, we felt like a freak show walking around. They'd stare and talk and I'd stare right back and talk about them too.
While I enjoyed our trip to the Forbidden City, I could do without the heckling. Fortunately, we did meet some very helpful people at the Forbidden City that helped us get around with our stroller, and returned Evan's dropped hat to us, and that restored my faith in Chinese people.
I think, though, after all that, We're going to skip on going to the Great Wall. Its going be cold and windy and its out of our way and its not going to be much fun for the kids. We'll probably be back here again, so we'll save that for the next trip. So now I gotta find some indoor type stuff to do. hmmm and all I can come up with is shopping...
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
So, here's some pics from the afternoon.
|Nov 08 Yokohama Chinatown|
I was surprised at how pushy the Chinese will get to get the Japanese to buy stuff. Weird to see that contrast in cultures here. I thought it was funny that my friend Megumi said the Japanese know how different Chinese restaurant service and salesmen are, almost rude in the Japanese eyes. After being in Japan for a few months now, I can totally see it!
I'm heading off to Beijing today, and I'm preparing myself for a total culture 360.